Memorial Day Weekend was like 6 weeks ago, and I’m still catching up on these posts. That’s what happens when you’re working nonstop. But I took tonight off from my internship for a “mental health reprieve”, so it’s time to update my blog, for real.

On a side note, I finally figured out how to fix a media setting that’s been bugging me forever! Previously, you couldn’t click on my photos to enlarge them on your phone or computer. Well, now you can–at least with this post and moving forward. Hopefully I can fix the last few posts too.

So anyhoo, for Memorial Day Weekend, we stayed with Keegan’s parent’s in Rapid City, kicking off the trip with booze, of course. Buddy appeared to feel much more comfortable in his surroundings this trip, versus last time. He was chilling with Durnick and Izzie, both harmless, domesticated sweeties. Like every trip to South Dakota, there’s good food to be had and sights to be seen.

First, we traveled to the Black Hills. While Keegan’s family has likely grown tired of the all-too-familiar scenery, I enjoyed the beauty of the mountains in the gray, misty rain. Custer State Park offers amazing panoramic views including a glimpse of Mountain Rushmore in the distance if you pull over and squint on Needle’s Highway. We also explored Sylvan Lake and drove to the top of Heddy Draw Overlook.

Sylvan Lake
Sylvan Lake

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Cool place to have lunch
Cool place to have lunch

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Needles Highway supposedly provides this epic view…
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And this is what my camera picked up LOL.
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Armadillo’s Ice Cream
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Buddy Dog Kellogg needs help down the wooden staircase

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Mary spoiling us with Frozen Peach Bellinis
Mary spoiling us with Frozen Peach Bellini’s

Following our sight-seeing adventures, we walked Buddy while Keegan’s parents prepared dinner: Scallops, salad and several tasty side dishes. The following morning, Keegan and I woke up early for the drive towards the Badlands. We stopped in Walldrug afterwards–a quirky small town with South Dakotan charm. He insisted we grab these special gas station donuts on the way there, and I’m so glad we did. I’ve never tasted such a moist cake donut before in my life, and I hate the word “moist”. In addition, we grabbed the last two and the cashier only charged us for one. Apparently those who receive the last one get a free donut, so we totally lucked out.

If I remember correctly, we took the Northeast Entrance into the park, passing the Ben Reifel visitor center. We took to Badlands Loop Road, a beautiful scenic bypass with stunning views of the rugged terrain. Prairie Dog Town offered the chance to meet a few cuties up close, while our brief hike at Castile Trail left me in awe. I’ve waited years to visit the Badlands, and our day trip exceeded my expectations.

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Another precious prairie dog staring at its replica.
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Random T-Rex display inside the Wall Drug Store.

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I don’t care if half of these Badlands pics look the same–the park is absolutely beautiful! I didn’t want to leave. But booked it over to Walldrug in time for lunch. I treated myself to chicken fingers and wine–the perfect lunch combo. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at first, but much like any other small town, the bustling streets were filled with kind, down-to-earth people. And aside from the famous 5 cent coffee, this gigantic store felt like more a fancy flea market than anything with local artisan shops, a large restaurant and spacious courtyard. Afterwards we cut our trip short to return to Rapid to catch a movie. Buddy was pooped and rightfully so. We managed to cover quite a bit of territory in a few, short days. The following weekend, we canoed in Moab, Utah for our one year wedding anniversary. More to come following this post, but in the meantime here’s this: